- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 11, 2004

French car gathering slated in Pennsylvania

The “French Car Fall Meet” is set for tomorrow in Bucks County, Pa.

Autos including Citroens and Peugeots will be on display for Francophiles, and a buffet meal will be available at 1 p.m. The event begins at 11 a.m. at the site, located just off Route 413 between Langhorne and Newtown, Pa.

For more information, call 215/752-7178 or send e-mail to [email protected]

‘Black box’ mulled for use in autos

Word from Detroit is that carmakers may adopt the “black box” devices that assist the airline industry in solving crashes.

Data recorders monitor many in-flight functions as well as pilot communications. In automobiles, the idea would be to find out what happens just before a crash, be it mechanical or human failure.

Auto accidents are the biggest cause of death for people ages 4 to 33, so black boxes might help reduce that statistic.

Diesel motorcycles developed for military

The world’s first diesel-powered military motorcycles have been developed by researchers at Britain’s Cranfield University and California’s Hayes Diversified Technologies, according to UPI.The team worked at the university, located at Shrivenham, England, to design a low-technical-risk motorcycle both lightweight and powerful.

“The motorcycle also had to meet strict NATO requirements for all armed forces to operate their entire inventory of vehicles and powered equipment on either diesel fuel or aviation-grade kerosene,” said John Crocker, who helped design the vehicles. “This capability has major logistic advantages in obviating the need to carry other fuels to battle. And their lower flammability, in comparison with petrol, also greatly reduces fire hazards.”

The U.S. Marines already have placed an order for 522 of the diesel-powered bikes.

Toronto is studying speed bump impact

The city of Toronto is trying to weigh the merits of improving firefighter and ambulance response times versus the safety benefits of speed bumps, according to UPI. The city’s Fire Department argues that five speed bumps in a row can slow a fire engine’s response time by a full minute. The time can be crucial when emergency medical technicians are responding to a cardiac-arrest call.

Toronto EMS spokesman Larry Roberts said speed bumps protect children by slowing vehicles as much as 20 mph.

Toronto — with an estimated 1,400 speed bumps — has begun a study on the impact of the bumps. The report is expected by spring, according to the Sun.

Fax or mail items of interest to Bill O’Brien, Auto Notes, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.Use fax 202/832-2167. The deadline is 5 p.m. on the Monday before publication on Friday.

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